By this point, most of my Bernie supporting friends have come to terms with the fact that Hillary Clinton is by far the least dangerous choice for President, but for the most part, they are still voting against the raving misogynistic, racist, narcissistic, nationalistic lunatic named Donald Trump. Give me reasons to vote for Hillary, they beg me.
For all her years in the public eye, there are probably millions of articles about Clinton, but sadly, we’ve let the conservative media write the talking points. They have managed to portray Clinton as a shrew, a political machine, cold, detached, ambitious (an attribute for men, a flaw in women) and as a liar. Now, it would be naive to argue that she’s not political and it would be naive to argue that she’s never bent the truth, but she is not the woman the right paints her to be and she’s a hell of a lot more than the sum of Benghazi, Whitewater, Vince Foster and her emails (all of which have been litigated to death with no evidence of criminal wrongdoing found).
Here are 10 fabulous reasons to vote not just against Donald Trump, but to feel really good about pulling the lever for Clinton:
1. There is no greater advocate for women – If Donald Trump has done one good thing, it’s accidentally elevate women’s issues to the top of people’s minds. Hillary Clinton not only wipes the floor with Trump’s toupee when it comes to women’s rights, she has a stronger record than just about anyone in Washington.
Clinton believes in protecting the right to choose, not just for American women, but for women throughout the world. She supports Planned Parenthood, she wants to end the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal money going toward abortions. Clinton supports paid family leave, equal pay and a number of issues that affect women. As a Senator, she introduced eight pieces of legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights.
2. Her stance on guns will make us safer – Every single day, 90 people die from gun violence. An additional 216 survive gun shots. Crime is down in this country, but it’s difficult to turn on the news without hearing about yet another mass shooting. Clinton wants to keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous, which is somehow a controversial idea for Republicans.
I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets. We may have our disagreements on gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on a few things. If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked. You shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show. And yes, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.
Hillary, June 13, 2016
In other words, she’s not a gun grabber, as Donald Trump would tell you, but she wants some serious change.
3. She doesn’t just go along with conservatives – We live in a politically divided climate. While most think of Hillary Clinton as centrist, her time in the Senate actually points to something different. She only voted with George W. Bush 49 percent of the time. While that might sound like a lot, especially in today’s climate, that’s less than all but 11 Democratic Senators. She was also one of the most liberal Senators during her tenure in the Senate.
4. Hillary is great for the environment –
Clinton authored and led on bills to help federal buildings and nonprofit health institutions become more energy efficient and to promote clean fuel use in public transportation and production in rural communities.
Clinton co-sponsored bills to combat climate change by reducing carbon pollution, investing in clean energy, and directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce carbon and other pollutants from power plants.
She co-sponsored a bill to repeal subsidies to Big Oil.
She was one of only 26 Senators to vote against the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which at the time LCV called “the most anti-environment bill signed into law in recent memory.”
Clinton proposed several environmental justice initiatives including extending financing for
Clinton consistently fought for clean water, including protecting the Great Lakes.
5. She will reverse Citizens United – People tend to forget that the landmark decision that completely upended our electoral system was literally about Hillary Clinton. Citizens United wanted to release an attack movie about Clinton. They won. Still, revenge is not the reason she wants to overturn the disastrous decision. She wants to introduce a constitutional amendment and she will nominate the right (left) Supreme Court judges.
6. The Supreme Court – Our next president will face as many as three Supreme Court vacancies. Clinton has made a firm commitment to the American people that she will nominate justices who would be in the mode of Ruth Bader Ginsburg – justices who will protect marriage equality, a woman’s right to choose and who will get money out of politics.
7. She wants full equality for all LGBT citizens around the world – Currently, about LGBT people can be discriminated against in nearly half the country. Clinton wants to put an end to that.
She wants to ban gay conversion therapy. She will protect the rights of transgender people and she will use her position as President to help ban discrimination across the world. This, despite Wikileaks misrepresentation of her LGBT views.
In the U.S. Senate, Hillary championed legislation to address hate crimes, fought for federal non-discrimination legislation to protect LGBT Americans in the workplace, and advocated for an end to restrictions that blocked LGBT Americans from adopting children.
As secretary of state, Hillary advanced LGBT rights abroad and enforced stronger anti-discrimination regulations within the State Department, declaring on the global stage that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” She led the effort to pass the first-ever U.N. Resolution on LGBT Human Rights, launched the Global Equality Fund, ended State Department regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families equal rights, helped implement LGBT-friendly workplace policies, and updated the State Department’s policy so that transgender individuals’ passports reflect their true gender.
8. She adores animals and she will fight for them – For the first time ever, the Humane Society of the United States endorsed a presidential candidate. That candidate is Hillary Clinton. They said,
She published an animal welfare statement on her campaign website, noting that “[t]he way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity.” Clinton highlights the humane issues she plans to tackle as President, as well as her strong record on animal protection in the U.S. Senate and as Secretary of State. She pledges to crack down on abuses such as wildlife trafficking, puppy mills, and horse slaughter, and to support a federal anti-cruelty statute and more humane treatment of farm animals.
That’s not all. One of Clinton’s great (and little known) passions is saving the African elephants, which are nearing extinction.
“[She will] forge partnerships with the private sector and non-profit community to shut down the U.S. market for illegal wildlife products; deploy U.S. intelligence and enforcement assets to catch and imprison the kingpins that are controlling this multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise; raise the legal penalties for illegal wildlife traffickers; and impose trade sanctions when appropriate on nations that fail to crack down on the illegal killing and marketing of wildlife and wildlife products.”
9. Immigration – Clinton will push for comprehensive immigration reform. She will stop the policy of breaking up families. While she doesn’t believe in open borders, Clinton will take a humane approach to immigration.
10. She learns from her mistakes – No, Hillary Clinton is not the perfect candidate. She needs to enter the 21st Century when it comes to marijuana, for example, but she has begun her evolution.
Her reputation is as a war hawk, which is mostly fueled by the Iraq War vote, which she has apologized for. The criticism is both fair and not fair. She is a big believer in diplomacy, but she is also not afraid of military intervention. Rather than blindly agree to all war, Clinton is deliberative. She’s part hawk and part dove. It’s easy to believe that her Iraq War vote has made her even more deliberative. While she probably won’t be afraid to enter us into another war, she does know that she would risk losing her base.
The bottom line is that a vote for Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to be just a vote against Donald Trump. Clinton has a long career of advocating for those who are without a voice. Hillary Clinton will make a good President.
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.